Monday, October 29, 2012

Monday, October 15, 2012

Iyengar style compared to Bikram style

Fran├žois Raoult doing a revolved triangle
Compared to Bikram yoga, Iyengar is very slow, with particular attention paid to precise alignment. In one Iyengar style class we did four moves in one hour...

I always go home after an Iyengar class thinking, "We didn't do anything." An hour of two later I fall into a deep sleep, utterly exhausted.

After a Bikram class I normally feel invigorated and energetic. The only time I regularly fell asleep after a Bikram class was during a three month period when my body was healing from a major operation. 

Should I study Bikram or Iyengar?

Iyengar style Trikonasana (triangle pose)

People who know I am a yoga teacher ask me if they should study Bikram or Iyengar style yoga. I tell them to try both, and see what is right for them. 

My own experience is that there is absolutely no competition between the two. When someone's body wants Bikram they will have no interest in Iyengar style, and vice versa. 
Bikram style Trikonasana (triangle pose)
(Bikram yoga is my first love, but my body seems to want Iyengar style right now.)

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Iyengar blessing Bikram


I am a Bikram teacher who is currently studying Iyengar. During my Bikram teacher training one of Bikram's senior instructors told us, "All yoga is good yoga." Photo from Yogadork blog, and Bikram Yoga Petaluma.

Commenter Yogagyrl added a few details about this photo at the Yogadork blog:
Yogagyrl June 22, 2011 at 9:05 pm
Actually, my friend took that photo in Pune, at Iyengar’s studio, and they were talking about when Iyengar judged Bikram’s third year of competing in the All India Yoga Championships…in which Iyengar gave Bikram 10 out of 10…and Bikram was given the title of Yogiraj.
They also spoke about Bikram organizing an event to honor Iyengar’s karma yoga and service to the yoga world.
They were also talking about Bikram’s guru, Bishnu Ghosh (Paramahansa Yogananda’s brother)….and a few other things. ;) They’re actually friends!

Finally! A yoga pose I can do! (with update)

The blogging pose, demonstrated by BKS Iyengar.

Update
My Iyengar teacher, Roz Griffin, says everything can be a yoga pose. She says, "Call it 'blogasana'. Sit up straight, open your chest while you work." You know what? She's right.

Friday, October 12, 2012

How to find a literary agent

If you want to publish with one of the Big New York Publishers, you will probably need a literary agent.

I sold my first two books by going directly to the acquisition editor of a small publisher. That approach won't work in the big time. The big publishers like to work with agents, not authors.

So, how do you find a literary agent?

Here is what I've learned so far by taking classes, talking to agents, and reading books on the subject. The best book was literary agent David Fugate's book, The Unconventional Guide to Publishing. (I don't get anything if you buy his book.)

Two qualifiers:
  • Qualifier 1. This post applies to nonfiction. Finding an agent for fiction is a different animal. I don't know anything about that process.
  • Qualifier 2. You need a great idea for a book. Not just a good one, a great one. When you test the idea on other people they go "Aha!" and say things like, "Wow!"
The process:
1. Join PublishersMarketplace for $20 a month. PublishersMarketplace is where people in the publishing industry go to find out what deals have happened recently, and the agents involved.
2. Search for deals for books similar to yours. The deals will list the name of the agent. Add that name to your list of potential agents..
3. Use the PublishersMarketplace search function and research the agents on your list. Find out how many deals they have done, the size of the deals, and so on.
4.Write an amazing book proposal, including two sample chapters. The competition is so intense that only amazing proposals will make the cut. Fugate's book comes with several good examples. Put the proposal aside.
5. Write a powerful query letter.
6. Send a query email to the top agent on your list.
7. When an agent responds, send your proposal.
8. Repeat.

Don't be discouraged if  (when) you are rejected. As psychologist and author Sarah Fine said in a MediaBistro class, "Rejection is part of the process. You will be rejected. You are not different." Don't let rejection stop you or slow you down. Continue sending queries and proposals until you find the right agent for your work.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Absolute Write writer's forums


Absolute Write writer's forums. An Internet community for writers in all genres. Tips, advice, contests, and support.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

The simple power of one a day for yoga teachers (marketing)

Marketing guru Seth Godin recently wrote a brilliant post about the power of doing one marketing thing a day. I've copied Godin's post below, and have added a few additional things a yoga teacher could do.
There are at least 200 working days a year. If you commit to doing a simple marketing item just once each day, at the end of the year you've built a mountain. Here are some things you might try (don't do them all, just one of these once a day would change things for you):
  • Send a handwritten and personal thank you note to a customer
  • Write a blog post about how someone is using your product or service
  • Research and post a short article about how something in your industry works
  • Introduce one colleague to another in a significant way that benefits both of them
  • Read the first three chapters of a business or other how-to book
  • Record a video that teaches your customers how to do something
  • Teach at least one of your employees a new skill
  • Go for a ten minute walk and come back with at least five written ideas on how to improve what you offer the world
  • Change something on your website and record how it changes interactions
  • Help a non-profit in a significant way (make a fundraising call, do outreach)
  • Write or substantially edit a Wikipedia article
  • Find out something you didn't know about one of your employees or customers or co-workers
A few more ideas for yoga teachers: 
  • Write a strong 100 word bio
  • Hire a professional photographer to take seven good photographs of you, including yoga poses. One should be a full face head-shot.
  • Write a 30-50 word FAQ for beginners with a title like "How to begin," "What to expect," and "How often should I practice?" "What if I am over 50?" Post it on your blog.
  • Interview a student whose life has been changed by yoga. Post the interview and a picture on your blog.
  • Pitch an idea for a blog post to the Huffington Post about something useful related to yoga.
  • Make a three minute video about yoga and post it on YouTube.
  • Make a list of the top 50 yoga blogs.(Google for existing lists and use them to start your own.)
  • Read and comment on a top yoga blog
  • Offer to guest-post on a yoga blog
  • Write an article for the local newspaper about how to start practicing yoga
  • Refer someone to a colleague's yoga class
  • Introduce yourself to a local doctor or physical therapist
  • Teach a free yoga class in a local school
  • Have your car repainted with a colorful, tasteful graphic of your yoga studio's name, website and phone number

Friday, October 5, 2012

The simple power of one a day for authors


 Seth Godin recently wrote about the power of doing one marketing thing a day. It is a brilliant list of things any author could do. Here is Godin’s post in full.  At the end of the post, I have added a few more ideas for nonfiction authors.

There are at least 200 working days a year. If you commit to doing a simple marketing item just once each day, at the end of the year you've built a mountain. Here are some things you might try (don't do them all, just one of these once a day would change things for you):
  • Send a handwritten and personal thank you note to a customer
  • Write a blog post about how someone is using your product or service
  • Research and post a short article about how something in your industry works
  • Introduce one colleague to another in a significant way that benefits both of them
  • Read the first three chapters of a business or other how-to book
  • Record a video that teaches your customers how to do something
  • Teach at least one of your employees a new skill
  • Go for a ten minute walk and come back with at least five written ideas on how to improve what you offer the world
  • Change something on your website and record how it changes interactions
  • Help a non-profit in a significant way (make a fundraising call, do outreach)
  • Write or substantially edit a Wikipedia article
  • Find out something you didn't know about one of your employees or customers or co-workers
A few more ideas for nonfiction authors: 
  • Write a powerful 300 word bio
  • Hire a professional photographer to take three good photographs of you.
  • Pitch an idea for a blog post to the Huffington Post about the subject of your book
  • Make a three minute video of the subject of your book and post it on YouTube.
  • Make a list of the top 50 blogs in your field.
  • Read and comment on one of the top blogs in your field
  • Offer to guest-post on a top blog in your field
  • Send a copy of your book to one of the top blogs, and ask for a review
  • Review a colleague’s book on Amazon
  • Offer to speak to a college class
  • Offer to speak at a local bookstore 
  • Suggest friends for a colleague on Facebook using the "Suggest Friends" button
What worked for you? Can you add to this list?